Use These Tips To Capture Beautiful Family Photos

19 May 2024

Family photos display a cherished glimpse into our lives and the lives of the people that we care about the most. Capturing these moments beautifully, however, can sometimes be challenging. From practical tips to gear recommendations to help you take stunning family photos that you'll treasure for years to come, find out how you can master the art of the humble family photo.

Why are family photos important?

Family photos, while not always perfectly posed or artistically lit, hold a unique importance. They serve as invaluable touchstones to our past, allowing us to relive special moments and witness the growth of loved ones. Think of those very first family photos with a baby, or even the family photos with your dog acting the clown up front - these fleeting moments hold such a special place in our hearts.

Use These Tips To Capture Beautiful Family PhotosUse These Tips To Capture Beautiful Family Photos

Gear advice for great family photos

Use These Tips To Capture Beautiful Family PhotosUse These Tips To Capture Beautiful Family Photos

You don’t need an enormous budget for the latest and greatest camera gear to improve your family photos tenfold. While some of your favourite family snaps were probably captured with your everyday smartphone, we still encourage you to consider upgrading to a dedicated camera if you want consistently better results. The improved image quality, accessibility to a broad range of camera accessories and, of course, advanced photographic controls, will help you produce brilliant photographs of your family daily, rather than on occasion.

Here is what we think a successful family photo camera kit looks like:

Mirrorless camera: While this could just as easily say DSLR, Mirrorless cameras now earn the top spot due to their portability. We know families have enough to cart around, without unnecessarily heavy camera gear. Mirrorless cameras provide great image quality thanks to their large image sensor, as well as compatibility with extensive high-quality camera lenses (more on that below.)

Top Picks: Canon EOS R50 and Nikon Z30.

Use These Tips To Capture Beautiful Family PhotosUse These Tips To Capture Beautiful Family Photos

Camera Lenses

One of the main benefits of using an interchangeable lens camera is you can mount various lenses on your camera, depending on the type of photography you are focusing on. For family photos, we suggest a varied kit with a few different options, so you are prepared for whatever lies ahead. For framing group shots of numerous people, you can’t go past a standard zoom lens - this offers some wide scope for fitting everyone in, but you can also zoom in for a tighter crop.

A few prime lenses in your kit can help give your images a much more distinguished, or even professional look, thanks to their excellent image sharpness and ability to produce brilliant background blur, otherwise known as bokeh. The focal length is a personal preference with 50mm lenses being popular for general-purpose shots, while a longer focal length, such as 85mm, is a great choice for portraiture.

Top Picks: Nikon Z 24-70mm f4 S Zoom and Sony FE 85mm f1.8 Lens.


If you want to be part of the family photos yourself, you’ll need a place to safely and securely hold your camera while you jump in front of the lens - enter the tripod. If you’ve never bought a tripod before, our tripod buying guide takes you through the ins and outs, so you can find the perfect tripod for you and your camera gear.

Don’t forget to use a remote, or if possible, set up your camera for remote shooting with your smartphone, as long as it is WiFi enabled. This means you can simply fire when you are ready, rather than hitting the self-timer and rushing everybody into position.

Top Picks: Vanguard Vesta 233AP and Vanguard VEO 3 Go 235AB.

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Tips to help you take family photos like a pro

While capturing genuine, natural connections is the main objective of family photos, the planning stage is also important. This section will explore various family photo ideas, from creative poses to ideal locations, to ensure your photos beautifully showcase your loved ones.

Use These Tips To Capture Beautiful Family PhotosUse These Tips To Capture Beautiful Family Photos
  • Make Your Family Photos Funny -  Does your family have a resident clown? Get them on board to help out with some comic relief. Not only does this give your photos a humorous leaning but it can help put the rest of your family at ease.
  • Get some inspiration from your kids - For kids, family photos can seem like a complete waste of time - they just don’t get the sentiment yet. Get their input on things like location, prop choices and other things they may enjoy. Their joy at being involved will be evident in your results.
  • Get creative with family photo outfits - For some, wondering how to dress for family photos can bring overwhelming anxiety. Help these folks out by organising the outfits for them. Whether it is a theme or just a matter of selecting something from their wardrobe for them, by taking off this load, you will have a more willing participant.
  • Get outdoors - Getting some fresh air during your family photo shoot is great for several reasons. More light makes it easier for you to expose your photos, you can find excellent backgrounds to make your photos more visually appealing, and your family will be visibility happier than if they are cooped up indoors.
  • Don’t forget the presentation - If you are anything like us, you are probably already looking around your home trying to decide which wall is best for family photos, so you can start piecing together your photo wall. It’s great to share your photos online for everyone to see, but treasured family photos deserve to be presented as a hard copy as well, so visitors to your home get a sense of the love and warmth you share. Browse photo frames and albums and find some that suit your home decor, and even consider printing your own photobook once you have a collection of your favourite family photos saved up.

Ready, Set, Smile! Take Your Family Photography to the Next Level

With the help of these tips and camera gear recommendations, your family photos are in good hands.

Whether you are on the hunt for more expert advice to improve your skills, or product reviews to help with your next purchase, be sure to stop by our photography blog regularly.

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